ETTN Explores Today and Tomorrow
As reported in the April 2015 issue of SEMA News, CU-ICAR offers SEMA members data analysis for problem solving, including analysis of pre-catalyst and post-cat emissions data and analysis of combustion and calibration for aftermarket performance parts makers seeking CARB certification.
Welcome to the new Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN), an organization where engineers, programmers, designers and those affected by the fast pace of ever-changing automotive technology can come together as a community. The mission of ETTN is to “identify, understand and communicate emerging trends and technologies to help members improve.” There is a real need within SEMA for individuals to understand and be prepared for upcoming changes to the industry, most of which are based on technological advancements.
As SEMA News reported in a recent story, today’s cars, trucks and the auto industry and performance aftermarket as a whole are being reinvented, restructured and re-envisioned. Cars are quickly moving from standalone mechanical products to smart electronic products and connected smart products. Not since the beginning of the industry has there been such disruption in how cars are designed, developed, customized, sold, serviced and owned.
Vehicles are being designed to drive themselves, avoid accidents and connect to their owners’ digital lifestyles. They produce lower emissions, go faster and are safer, smarter and cooler than ever. The disruptive technologies leading the auto industry and aftermarket product revolution are also creating many new and exciting business opportunities and careers in science, technology, engineering and math that did not exist in the industry just six years ago—roughly one or two high-school or college generations.
New talent pipelines, career paths and skill sets are required to fuel technological advances and connect the next generation of drivers and workers to digital tech in their cars. Innovation is the number-one driver for creating a competitive advantage and staying relevant with advancing vehicle technology in areas such as gaming, apps and software development for design, manufacturing, production and marketing.
“SEMA’s roots are in making cars faster and cooler,” said SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak. “SEMA companies need to be tracking how their products and the vehicle systems they are integrated with are becoming smarter and more connected. The number of cars connected to the Internet worldwide will grow to more than 52 million by 2020, compared with 36 million today. Vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39% of car buyers—more than twice the 14% who care most about horsepower and handling, according to a survey last year from Accenture.”
Waraniak pointed out that drivers are demanding that their cars keep them constantly connected. The hottest trends that offer SEMA members new opportunities for growth and new challenges are connected and self-driving vehicle technologies as well as powertrain developments to achieve greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions while still delivering performance. Seventy-nine percent of automotive CEOs surveyed in PricewaterhouseCooper’s annual automotive report believe that advanced vehicle technology will transform their businesses over the next five years.
The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) is a great example of how members are using the latest business technology to increase sales. The SDC is operating a centralized product data service for manufacturers. It organizes, houses and then distributes online product catalog information to WDs and retailers to drive sales growth.
This year, ETTN is introducing several new initiatives. The aim is for the network to become a “service provider” for the other SEMA councils and networks, helping them through technology issues that affect their memberships. All councils and networks, regardless of their constituencies or the focus of their diverse businesses, can take advantage of opportunities within the challenges of rapidly changing technology.
Keep an eye out for upcoming ETTN technology roundtables. These roundtables will address the most important and urgent challenges facing SEMA-member companies and their employees. These are proposed projects, so please reach out if any of them are attractive to you. And please join the conversation on social media at www.facebook.com/semaettn.
ETTN Networking Event
The ETTN will hold a social/networking event at the New Products Showcase on Thursday, November 5, starting at 4:00 p.m. The Showcase will be located this year on the Skybridge between Central and South Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This event is another in ETTN’s series of gatherings designed to build a community for automotive specialty-equipment engineers and product developers. Food and beverages will be served, and attendees will receive the latest details about the SEMA Garage and its associated emissions lab. Don’t be left out!